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Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps

Hillsborough, Romulus

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ISBN 10: 0804836272 / ISBN 13: 9780804836272
Published by Tuttle Publishing, Vermont, 2005
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

HARDCOVER. Tuttlle Publishing, Vermont. 2005. First Edition. Octavo. xxv + 230 pages. Original grey paper on board binding with gilt lettering to spine. Art illustrated dust jacket on front and rear panel with black and white lettering to cover and spine. Red coloured spine. Eighteen chpaters, list of photographs, map of japan, Map of Edo and Vicinity, Map of Kyoto, Map of Ezo, Note on Japanese Pronunciation. Author's note, Two appendices, Glossary of Japanese Terms, Bibliography, Source notes and Index at rear. Book in fine to as new condition. See photographs. Weight 0.6 kg. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 7821

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing, Vermont

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Shinsengumi: The Shogun's last Samurai Corps is the true story of the notorious
samurai corps formed in 1863 to arrest or kill the enemies of the Tokugawa
Shogun. The only book in English about the Shinsengumi, it focuses on the
corps' two charismatic leaders, Kondo Isami and Hijikata Toshizo, both
impeccable swordsmen. It is a history-in-brief of the final years of the
Bakufu, which collapsed in 1867 with the restoration of Imperial rule. In
writing Shinsengumi, Hillsborough referred mostly to
Japanese-language primary sources, including letters, memoirs, journals,
interviews, and eyewitness accounts, as well as definitive biographies and
histories of the era.                               

The fall of the shogun's government (Tokugawa Bakufu, or simply Bakufu) in
1868, which had ruled Japan for over two and a half centuries, was the greatest
event in modern Japanese history.

The revolution, known as the Meiji Restoration, began with the violent
reaction of samurai to the Bakufu's decision in 1854 to open the theretofore
isolated country to "Western barbarians." Though opening the country was
unavoidable, it was seen as a sign of weakness by the samurai who clamored to
"expel the barbarians."

Those samurai plotted to overthrow the shogun and restore the holy emperor
to his ancient seat of power. Screaming "heaven's revenge," they wielded their
swords with a vengeance upon those loyal to the shogun.

They unleashed a wave of terror at the center of the revolution - the
emperor's capital of Kyoto. Murder and assassination were rampant. By the end
of 1862, hordes of renegade samurai, called ronin,
had transformed the streets of the Imperial Capital into a "sea of blood."

The shogun's administrators were desperate to stop the terror. A band of
expert swordsmen was formed. It was given the name Shinsengumi ("Newly
Selected Corps") - and commissioned to eliminate the ronin and
other enemies of the Bakufu.

With unrestrained brutality bolstered by an official sanction to kill, the
Shinsengumi soon became the shogun's most dreaded security force.

In this vivid historical narrative of the Shinsengumi, the only one in the English language,
author Romulus Hillsborough paints a provocative and thrilling picture of this
most fascinating period in Japanese history.

From the Author:

Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps is the only English-language history of the shogun's notorious hit-squad in Kyoto during the final years the shogun's government. It is my most controversial book. I think that much of the controversy is due to the language. I experimented in this book, repeating certain phrases to stress certain characteristics of the Shinsengumi leaders, including their "propensity to kill." Readers either love it or slam it. But I stand behind my original language and would not change a single word.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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